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WIPO Paper on tradmarks and the internet

The WIPO published a 62 pages long paper "Trademarks and the Internet". Part of it deals with the liability of search engines for the sale of trademarks as keywords, in particular with cases in the USA (Nr. 19), the EU (Nr. 20), the United Kingdom (Nr. 29), India (Nr. 30), Israel (Nr. 32), Argentina (Nr. 33) and Australia (Nr. 35). As for the legality of keyword advertising in China e.g. (Nr. 31), the report says:

"In China, two keyword advertising lawsuits, one initiated against Google China, the other against Baidu, have yielded different outcomes. In Google v Guangdong Ganyi Electrical Appliance Co Ltd, the plaintiff’s registered trademark NEDFON was sold by Google as a keyword to a competitor. The Court ruled that the competitor in question had committed trademark infringement. However, Google itself was not held jointly liable for trademark infringement. The Court determined that, although use of a keyword to trigger sponsored links was a form of advertising, Google neither had the ability to check or control the information submitted by the competitor, nor did it have an obligation to examine the legality of that information.

The Google case can be contrasted to the case of Baidu v Shanghai Dazhong House-moving Logistics Co Ltd. Baidu’s bid ranking service allowed Dazhong’s competitors to link their websites to the keywords “Dazhong Banchang”. Here, the Court ordered Baidu to pay compensation to Dazhong."




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